PENINSULA LIFE • OUR HERITAGE
Alex Wilson, Gower Secrets
In this day and age, equipped with smartphones, almost anyone can take a photo. The Gower Peninsula is a much loved and well photographed place. A quick google search and you can see hundreds of images from Worms Head and Rhossili Bay to Caswell and Mumbles lighthouse. But it takes true skill and a trained eye to capture both the happening and the feeling of that moment. Alex Wilson, owner of Gower Secrets photography and videography company, has such a skill.
Creator, tree surgeon and father, Alex is a busy man. Specialising in water based photography, he aims to capture Gower moments from unseen perspectives. Regularly found clad in a neoprene wetsuit, water housing in hand, Alex shoots everything from empty waves, surfers and stand-up paddle boarders to well known landmarks and wildlife. With an impeccable eye for detail and beauty, his work encapsulates some of the best that Gower has on offer; it’s true Gower Gold.
We sat with Alex after a shoot on Llangennith beach one late summer evening, a cold bottle of Sunrise in hand. The sun had begun its descent to the horizon and the sea bathed in the gloriously intense afterglow. It was easy to see why Alex loved his work.
“I work full time as a tree surgeon for Swansea Council and every spare chance I have, I get in the sea with my camera. That’s where I feel at home.
I’ve always surfed. I love the perspective you have when you’re in the water. This idea I always have of capturing a wave; freezing a moment in time. You’re able to pause that surfer's position or the water movement. Even an iconic landmark like Worms Head, it all looks so different from where I am in the sea.
When people see my work, they often say “waw, I never knew it could even look like that.” Changing the perspective, where you take the picture from, makes such a difference.
The thing about the Gower is its such a versatile place. On any day rain, shine - whatever, it looks different. The surf is always different, it’s never the same. And you can always capture something amazing regardless of the time of year.
I just want to create something new. Something fresh. It’s just from a different angle. It also brings me so much happiness and joy. That’s why I do it.
I’m based in Sketty but shoot all over Gower. My folks have a caravan down in Port Eynon. It’s one of my favourite places here and holds so many nostalgic memories for me. I spent the majority of my life as a child and many summer holidays down there. Now I’m a dad, with one daughter and another on the way, due very soon. Port Eynon will always be our home away from home. Although, it doesn’t get surf that often, but when it does its class. I love it.
So I turned 30 this year - there hasn’t been a season of my life where I’ve not been on Gower. It’s my favourite place on earth. It’s so much a part of who I am, not just my work.
To have this place on my doorstep I, without sounding corny, just feel totally blessed. It’s just an outstanding place and a beautiful place. And the surf is good too."
Constantly grounded in the breathtaking landscapes and numerous surf breaks, it’s not hard to see where Alex draws his inspiration from. Although his real magic lies in the perspective he chooses to take, not just in his photography but also his lifestyle. We asked Alex to describe his life on Gower in three words:
Inspirational. Home. Beauty.
Since chatting to Alex on this warm summer evening, their family has welcomed another girl into the world. Both mother and new baby are doing well and we’d like to wish them all the best.